We talk of the natural world often, her and I. She sucks in knowledge to her core like the roots of a vast fig tree . On walks here and there I watch her crouch on crumpled leaves to inspect an ant colony busy at work. Her eyes flashing from one jet creature to the next marvelling at their industry. I note her quizzical brow and am warned of the barrage of questions that will soon descend upon me. She turns her eyes towards me, "Mumma?....". And so the next discussion evolves. Often I know the answer, more often I don't. Books are consulted and fossicked specimens are scrutinised. Always there is learning... for us both.
Our seasonal chats have turned to the subject of leaves. On our fossicking adventures we have collected many varieties and have been inspired to use them in all sorts of creating. Using air dry clay we made a garland of leaves to add some Autumnal warmth to our home. We rolled it with a rolling pin until it was about 1/2 a centimetre thick and then carefully rolled leaves into it. (We found bean and eggplant leaves from the garden worked beautifully but any leaves with obvious veins would be perfect). Using a knife we carefully cut around the edges and placed the leaves on a plate to dry. By draping them over tea spoons and the edges of the plate we created furls and curls akin to crumpled, drying leaves. Dishes of watery colour were made by mixing browns and greens from a watercolour paint palette with water. The leaves were painted paying particular attention to the veins often returning to theses again and again to deepen the colour. Bijou loved watching the pigmented water spread through the veins and a wonderful chat followed. When they were dry we sprayed them with matt varnish and threaded them onto some string tying a knot either side to keep each leaf in place.